SS 2017

Course MD603

Lecturer: Steffen Scholl (Dr. phil.)

TA: Amina Shafik

Tutorial/Practical Group 2 | Mon. 2nd & 3rd slot | D2.101/SoundLab

Tutorial/Practical Group 1 | Tue. 3rd & 4th slot | D2.102/SoundLab

Tutorial/Practical Group 3 | Wed. 4th & 5th slot | D5.105/SoundLab

"Which is more musical: a truck passing by a factory or a truck passing by a music school?" (John Cage)


SOUND - Course Description


- Tutorial / 1 slot/week (compulsory attendance)

- Practical / 1 slot/week (compulsory attendance)

Facultative part: "How to Read Music" - a music theory course for beginners (1 slot/week) in cooperation with the GUC-Music-Academy (Ohoude Khadr)


- the Tutorial is intended to provide a basic understanding of sound (acoustics) and music (as the artistic organisation of sound) and to deliver an overview of different (historical and contemporary) strategies of music composition/production and sound design with focus on the 20th century

- the Practical is intended to provide a basic knowledge of important audio technology, techniques, and software tools such as AbletonLive, PureData/GEM, Max/MSP/Jitter, which are today omnipresent in the world of sound (and multimedia) production


- Midterm Assignment: Concept presentation (Power Point, 15 min.), description of an individual sound project/product (musical idea, historical context, aesthetics), material development/composition, and explanation of the production process (sound source, recording sessions, tools etc.)

- Final Assignment: Sound project realization/presentation based on the midterm concept (wav, aiff, 5-10 min)

Course Weights

- Midterm (Project-Conception) 50%

- Final (Project-Realization) 50%

References and Textbooks


Week Tutorial Practical Assignments
Week 1 Intro Course Concept; 20th Century Art Music - Popular Music Intro Audio Technology, The Studio as a Musical Instrument S. Phillips, G. Martin, P. Spector, R. Rubin, M. Schneider
Week 2 Tonality (J. S. Bach), Atonality (A. Schoenberg), 4:33 (J. Cage) Sound Parameter, Physical Aspects, SAD-Circle M. Davis, Madonna, Metallica
Week 3 Musique Concrete (P. Schaeffer), Soundscape (M. Schafer, H. Westerkamp) Recording, Sampling, Editing, Processing H. El-Dabh, F. Lopez
Week 4 Elektronische Musik (K. Stockhausen), Analog Synthesizer (D. Buchla, R. Moog) Sound Synthesis, Oscillator, Waveform Sha'abi / Mahragan (Islam Chipsy)
Week 5 Experimental & Minimal Music (J. Cage, T. Riley, S. Reich) Compression, Filter, Equalisation Jazz Improvisation, Free Jazz
Week 6 Midterm Preparation Individual Meetings Concept Preparation
Week 7 Midterm Concept Presentation Concept Presentation
Week 8 Computer Music (L. Hiller, M. Mathews) Sampling Rate/Theorem, Bit Depth, MIDI Readymade, Mashup, Remix, Plunderphonics, Vaporwave
Week 9 Functional Music (Dance, Church, Film, Advertisement) Sound Effects, Reverbration, Spatialisation B. Eno (Ambient 1: Music for Airports)
Week 10 Site Specific Music & Sound Art (Fluxus, A. Lucier, B. Leitner, Cardiff & Miller) Mix & Mastering J. Kirkegaard (Four Rooms)
Week 11 Final Preparation Individual Meetings Sound Project Preparation
Week 12 Final Project Presentation Project Presentation